Making it in a metal band isn't easy. YetA Distant Calm
, from Mesa and Tempe respectively, keep trying anyway.
Both bands packed into one van and went on their first tour this past weekend. The original plan was a set of dates in Tucson, San Diego, Van Nuys, and ending in Las Vegas.
Just a week before they left, promoters canceled the tour dates in Van Nuys and Las Vegas. Luckily, booking agent Seth Stephens was able to get the bands a show in Santa Ana, California in place of the Las Vegas date.
The tour was demanding, exhausting and in the end, especially thanks to the the canceled shows, not profitable.
Yet, the bands say they wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
New Times joined the musicians on tour, in order to provide a glimpse into life as a hungry, relatively unknown local band.
Aside from the money the guys had to spend on food and gas, the biggest issue was fitting 10 people into one van. The two bands made up eight people, with driver Shaheen Esmaeili and myself rounding off the crammed group.
With only three dates on the small tour run, the bands had to make the best of each show and make sure everyone that showed up, including themselves, had fun.
The first show at The Rock in Tucson, Arizona had roughly 50 people, but because it was in a small room on the floor, it seemed like much more with everyone crowded inside. A homeless guy named Crazy Eddie cheered for them from outside the venue.
Once the last band played, the guys packed their things and drove overnight to San Diego to play at a dry, all-ages venue called SOMA. From San Diego, the group made their way to a house in Azusa, California. The owner of the home is a family member of Will Fezatte, the vocalist of A Distant Calm. The band had only been out three days, yet both bands leaped at the opportunity to wash their "show clothes."
The next morning the guys made their way to Malone's in Santa Ana, California. Everyone received word that they would be playing early, rather than getting to play in the middle of the lineup as they had hoped. Fortunately, both bands had the best crowd reaction since the other night in Tucson. The fans were mesmerized by Kardashev's ambient set, while fans moshed and swung their arms for A Distant Calm.
The night ended with everyone in good spirits, and they celebrated by going out to dinner and then driving through the night back to Phoenix.
The experience of performing in front of new fans in new cities outweighed the struggle of self-funding a small tour. There are no delusions of glamor here. But there is nothing else the bands would rather do, and they wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Maybe after saving some money, first.
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